The lab’s research focus is on the psychological and sociocultural context of dominant discourses about sexuality and gender. Among the cultural mediators that both represent and reconfigure bodily, sexual and identity norms and practices are media, marketing and medical authorities. In our work, we examine how ‘responsible’ neoliberal and postfeminist subjects are constructed in a range of representational contexts that target embodiment, identities and practices.
Sample studies include: sexual agency and desire in the context of postfeminism, sexual entrepreneurship and pornography; popular and medical depictions of recreational sexual enhancement medication use; recreational sexual enhancement medication users’ accounts of sexuality; penile rehabilitation patient literature messages; sexuality following prostate cancer treatment among men and their partners; the meaning of queer within ‘post-gay equality’ contexts; women’s consumption of male homoerotic media; and men’s popular instructional texts and techniques for attaining multiple female sex partners. These projects represent growing scholarship on the ways neoliberal and postfeminist discourses converge on bodies and identities to shape responsible (depoliticized) sexual subjects as requiring ongoing enhancement, mastery, and autonomous control. We rely on a range of theoretical approaches broadly categorized as critical sexuality scholarship.